Steady-state free-convective cooling of heat exchangers with vertical rectangular fins: Effect of fin material

Y. M. Ko, Chun Wah Leung, S. D. Probert

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The steady-state rates of heat dissipation from an array of stainless-steel, vertical rectangular fins, under natural-convection conditions, have been measured experimentally when their base (which was either vertical or horizontal) was maintained at a uniform temperature of 20 or 40 K above that of the ambient environment. The fins were 3 mm thick and 500 mm long, and protruded 60 mm perpendicularly from the 500 mm × 190 mm rectangular base. For the vertically-based finned system, the optimal fin-separation Sopt corresponding to the maximum rate of heat loss to the ambient air was 12 ± 1 mm and remained almost invariant with respect to changes of the temperature excess θ above that of the ambient environment, for θ ≤ 40 K. However, for the orientation with vertical fins protruding upwards from the horizontal base, in this temperature range, Sopt increased from 20 ± 1 mm to 23 ± 1 mm when θ was reduced from 40 to 20 K. The present data have been compared with those previously obtained with similar configurations and orientations of duralumin fin arrays. Only relatively small reductions (∼ 13·5 ± 3·5%) in the maximum rates of heat loss ensued, for the same value of θ, when the heat exchanger was made of stainless steel rather than of duralumin, i.e. corresponding to a reduction of the material's thermal conductivity of more than 91%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-191
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Energy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Energy
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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